We interrupt this program to bring you an important bulletin on Kentucky basketball.
I’m getting out a whistle, blowing it, and sending everyone to their respective benches, couches, man caves, and Lazy-Boy recliners for a moment of reflection on Kentucky basketball.
It’s no deep dark government secret that the Kentucky basketball team and coach John Calipari appear to have fallen from grace with many members of Big Blue Nation for the tailspin season they are experiencing. Social Media, the media (myself included) has been harsh and quick to criticize the Wildcats for something we have never seen before.
So Timeout !!
We need a reality check and some positive Friday vibes.
Opinions are just that and everyone has a lot of them which makes us human. Constructive criticism is another but off the deep end and unrealistic expectations are extreme and sometimes delusional.
So Kentucky basketball is experiencing something historical in nature but haven’t we all in 2020?
Just like Humpty Dumpty all the stats, numbers, and historical data won’t fix and possibly put this team back together again.
They are trying, not giving up and all the true laden Big Blue fans who have kids should remember what we and their teachers told them on sad days is to turn that frown upside down.
Sure they may not make the NCAA tournament this year, something we all take for granted is going to happen. But remember there are 357 NCAA Division 1 basketball teams trying to grab one of those 68 coveted spots on Selection Sunday to keep dancing.
Bear in mind with a bit of luck, the bounce of the ball, or in the case of Georgia a slide of the body on defense this team could easily be sitting at 9-4 instead of 4-9.
Losses to Kansas (65-62), Notre Dame (64-63), Louisville (62-59), Auburn (65-59), and Georgia (63-62) were by a combined 14 points. Kentucky has the seventh-worst luck of all NCAA teams according to Kenpom.
What would the rapid fans be saying then? Would it a great coaching job by Calipari instead of the hate and calling for his head and job?
Cal talked about what it has been like trying to handle the mental strain of Covid-19.
“The mental health piece of this. The fragileness of this. I do feel unprepared. I’m not an expert in that. Many things I may be an expert in but I’m not that. If you ask my wife, she’d say I’m an expert in nothing. This is a different animal, and I’m not—someone would say, ‘Well, he’s just getting soft.’ I am different. I’m no softer. I’m still to the point. I’ve hit guys, but then I have to go grab them and hug them.”
Another reality check is that yes Kentucky and two other traditional blue blood of college basketball Duke and North Carolina are also unranked this week something that hasn’t happened in 59 years.
If you weren’t alive or if you were let’s try and put that in perspective. That year was 1961 and this week in history:
- John F. Kennedy was sworn in on January 20 and the inauguration was shown on color TV for the first time ever.
- He then held the first-ever live press conference on all 3 networks watched by an estimated 60,000,000 viewers
- The Dyke Van Dyke show was the can’t miss TV show.
- Cincinnati won the NCAA Tournament 70-65 with Jerry Lucas of Ohio State named MVP.
- That NCAA Tournament had just 32 teams.
- The No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 was “Wonderland by Night” by Bert Kaempfert
- 101 Dalmations made its debut in theatres.
- NHL great Wayne Gretzky was born
You get the picture. Kentucky ended up making the tournament and lost to eventual champion Ohio State 71-64 in the Elite 8.
So let’s all breathe here and come to reality with a few more thoughts.